Recovery from emcs with complications

(12 Posts)
rallytog1 Wed 10-Jul-13 08:25:02

I had DD 11.5 weeks ago via emcs. There were some serious complications (largely due to a scalpel-happy surgeon who apparently decided my bladder was surplus to requirements) which meant I needed further surgery immediately after DD was delivered, under general anaesthetic and lost most of the blood in my body. My scar goes from hip to hip, so is quite a bit bigger than your standard cs scar. I was on a catheter for several weeks but my bladder seems to be working now.

I realise that recovery from any kind of surgery can be a long process but I'm beginning to feel like this is taking too long now. At the end of every day I feel pain in my scar area. It hurts to pick up DD in her car seat and I can't walk more than about half a mile without getting pain in my abdomen. I feel like I'm piling on weight and becoming unhealthy because I can't do any real exercise. I'm also worrying about the amount of painkillers I need to take - although doctors don't seem too concerned about that.

People I know who've had cs seem surprised that I'm not feeling better or doing more. However I don't know anyone who's had a cs with complications like mine so I don't know what to expect in terms of recovery. Doctors and other HCPs also don't really seem to know, as what happened to me is pretty rare. I don't know whether to just accept this is going to take me a while or whether it's time to persist with getting some investigations done in case something isn't right.

I just wondered if anyone else on here had experience similar, and if so, what your recovery was like?

RubyrooUK Wed 10-Jul-13 08:57:58

I had a very straightforward ECLS for medical reasons with no complications aside from bruising very badly (which I always do).

It took me well over eight weeks to feel anything approaching normal. I was readmitted to hospital after three days in appalling pain, I had an infection at six weeks. I would say that it was only about week 11 post-section that I began to feel vaguely strong or normal again. I certainly couldn't pick up my toddler without my scar swelling and discomfort for well over 8 weeks - probably closer to 11.

My DS2 is 16 weeks old now and I feel pretty normal again, although I have the odd twinge.

For what it is worth, I am mid thirties, weighed 8 stone before my second pregnancy and am usually very active so you would expect me to have had a good recovery.

The reason I posted is to say that although your recovery sounds slow, given your complications, I'm not sure it is worryingly so. If it took me so long to recover from a "normal" section, a difficult one with greater blood loss and surgery would have a longer recovery period.

But do see your GP if you are at all worried, obviously. Hope you feel better soon.

YoniWheretheSunDontShine Wed 10-Jul-13 23:26:08

Can you get referred back to the hospital to talk to the surgeon who did this.

Gps are by very definition general practitioner.

I would suggest you need to talk to some one who is an expert in the area you need.

Talk to the hospital, you may have a battle as half of them are not trained and have no idea how to help you, if no joy there, call PALS tell them what happened and how worried you are and say you want to meet the consultant, surgeon to discuss what happened and recovery.

RubyrooUK Thu 11-Jul-13 07:44:50

Yoni has a good point actually. It may be worth trying to talk to the surgeon about your recovery.

<Bumping this thread again in case someone else can offer more advice.>

rallytog1 Thu 11-Jul-13 07:50:01

Thanks both - I'm in the process of requesting my records and notes from the hospital but it hadn't occurred to me to bypass that and just try to get a meeting with the surgeon directly. I'll try that.

I'm pretty sure he came to see me the following day and told me some stuff, but I was still off my face on morphine and had just had a baby so wasn't exactly in the best condition to take in information!

PseudoBadger Thu 11-Jul-13 07:56:23

Gosh that is awful I'm so sorry. I had a tough emcs and needed a transfusion, I was in for 7 days and had the catheter in for several days, but nothing like yours.
I remember when I got home on the 8th day and could do nothing, all the 'strength' I'd built up in hospital had been sapped by merely going home. We tried to go for a walk the next day and I got to the end of the drive!

I agree with Ruby (who I think was at the same hospital if I remember previous threads correctly!) that your recovery cannot be compared to a normal emcs, or especially an elcs.

Definitely try and have a review with the surgical team or a birth de-brief, as don't be afraid to raise issues and worries with whoever you can.

LovelyWeatherForDucks Fri 12-Jul-13 16:27:38

I had a very, very similar experience with my ELCS 8 months ago - although they repaired my bladder during the c section rather than a separate operation. I was also in such a daze / distracted by a newborn I still don't really understand how it happened. I'm going to contact the hospital this week, via PALS, as its been on my mind for over 8 months now! (Not recommended!)

I was in hospital for a week and a catheter for another 3 weeks. I took the first month very, very easy (main because I was paranoid about the catheter) and I was generally fine pain-wise (religiously took all the pain meds prescribed) but felt physically very weak for a long time afterwards - probably a good 3/4 months.

In my experience it sounds like your ongoing pain needs checking out. I had a number of follow up appointments as an outpatient with a urology consultant who signed me off after I was fully back to normal. I agree that contacting the surgeon may be a good port of call.

Anyway - I have to say its interesting to find someone else who has had this experience! It will get better and I hope you manage to get to the bottom of it.

missesjellybean Fri 12-Jul-13 16:35:48

yikes I would be thinking about complaining about and taking legal advice about that surgeon. I didn't have a caesarian but needed surgery after my dc was born due to a major haemorrhage and that alone left me severely anaemic I needed loads of blood too and just generally awful. I'm sure with what you describe you'll be feeling ill from that too. I'd request debrief with surgeon but baring mind that could take a while for an appointment.
I'd try not to.compare yourself to others who have had a cs as you've had cs, then surgery under ga, plus massive blood loss as well as caring for a new baby. I wouldn't expect so much of yourself so quickly tbh you've been through a lot.
has your gp checked your wound, urine for infection? I'd see a gp again to sort out referral and infection check .
hope you're feeling better soon

rallytog1 Fri 12-Jul-13 20:07:57

Thanks Ducks - you're the first person I've come across who's had the same thing. I'm really glad you're back to normal now.
I totally get the being in a daze bit - it was a couple of days before I really realised that what happened wasn't normal!

My understanding is that I had a few anatomical anomalies with my uterus and bladder so no one knew how to repair the mess - they put me under GA while they got a consultant from a different hospital to come and sort it out!

I've had two outpatient appointments but both with a nurse practitioner rather than the consultant. She was great when it came to the functioning of my bladder but was quite blank when I asked questions of other aspects of my recovery.

Thanks everyone for your help - I will definitely be pushing for info and answers now.

0pumpkin Sun 14-Jul-13 20:24:56

Sorry to jump on your thread Rally I hope you manage to get some answers from the surgeon and feel better soon. I'm with you on the weight and painkillers although your experience sounds very complicated!

Ruby- you mentioned bruising, I am just wondering how much bruising you had? And was your pain due to the bruising?

RubyrooUK Mon 15-Jul-13 19:47:44

Hi 0Pumpkin.

My bruising was all around my scar and quite far up my stomach. It apparently was a very straightforward c-section but I bruise a lot anyway. I am always looking down at my leg to see a bruise covering half my thigh that I don't remember. Plus I was anaemic during pregnancy, although I had just got back to the "ok" range before giving birth.

Yes, I think that was some of the pain. Definitely restricted my movement a bit. But I also suspect I had a UTI as I woke up screaming one night and I later had another possible infection. So the pain might have been those too. It was too sharp and agonising just to be bruising, I think.

I'm now 17 weeks on and pretty much ok though. I did wear DS2 in a sling for a few hours the other day though and pulled a muscle badly in my side so obviously I'm not totally back to normal as I seem a bit physically crap!

0pumpkin Mon 15-Jul-13 23:16:07

Thanks Ruby, its reassuring to hear that someone else has had bruising too! This is my first so I am learning what's normal and what's not. I had bruising above my scar about 2cm and up to my belly button and hip to hip, purple and red at its worst, it is fading now but more bruised in the hip area at present. I have had antibiotics on a trip back to the hosp to be on the safe side. I was anaemic also when leaving hosp but never aware that I bruised so easily. Have had mixed reactions from midwifes and gp (gp scared the life out of me and told me I needed to immediately go back and see the people at the hospital who did this to me!) I am glad to hear you are back to normal (ish) I am only 2 and a half weeks in and have been feeling better today, just hope it lasts! Maybe I am just being impatient, just want to get back to normal and feel healthy again. I find it difficult to know what pain I am supposed to have due to the c sec and what is due to the bruising.
Fingers crossed everyone is feeling back to normal soon!!

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